Testing Out The Cheapest Axe On Amazon

Don’t you just love it when you buy a cheap piece of junk that turns out not to be so junky after all? It’s the best. I recently had that experience with the Efficere 14-Inch Outdoor Camping Axe. 

It’s the cheapest axe on Amazon, so I think I can be forgiven for thinking it would be essentially worthless. But this little axe really took me by surprise, and I’m genuinely impressed by how good it is. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

A Little Background

You might be asking, “Why would you buy the cheapest axe on Amazon?” “Who would do that to themselves?” “Do you just enjoy punishment?” Look, I get it. These are all valid questions. 

Let me back up a little bit. My Kids and I have gotten into axe throwing. We do it all the time. We have a board set up in our backyard, they have their friends over, and they throw axes. The thing is, these kids are—how shall I put this—still learning. With that in mind, I’m not going to hand over a $50 or $60 axe so they can chuck it broad-side into a piece of wood over and over again. 

I’ve gotten into the habit of buying cheap axes so my kids and their friends can basically smash them to splinters. That’s how I ended up with a pair of Efficere Camping axes for about $10 a pop, and that’s how I discovered that they’re nearly indestructible. 

Sizing Up the Efficere Camping Axe

The Efficere axe is billed as an “outdoor camping axe and survival hatchet.” It’s 14 inches long, and has a 20 oz. (1.25 lb.) head. That’s well within the standard range for a hatchet, and this one is quite well balanced. 

The weight balance of this axe gives it excellent chopping power, and also makes it a good thrower. You don’t have to work hard to chop wood with this thing; it’s designed to essentially do most of the work for you. 

If you’re anything like me, you might be wondering about the Efficere Brand. I had never heard of them prior to buying this axe, and information about them is pretty much nonexistent. As far as I can tell, they don’t have a website. My guess is it’s one of those made-in-China barely-even-a-real-brand companies that you see all over Amazon. 

But you know what? They made a good little axe, so I’m not going to complain. 

Axe Head & Steel Quality

The head of the Efficere Outdoor Camping Axe has a 3.5-inch cutting edge, and it flares out gently at both the top and bottom toward the bit. It’s a symmetrical, classic-looking hatchet head (which, if I understand my axe head shapes correctly, makes it a Hoosier or Zeek pattern axe head).

Both of the Efficere axes I ordered came sharp-ish, with a nice convex bevel to the cutting edge (a convex grind is great for an axe or hatchet because it allows it to bite into wood with great force without becoming stuck). Honestly, you don’t need an axe to be shaving-sharp, and even before honing the edges with a sharpening stone, both of my Efficere axes were already plenty sharp enough to split wood. 

I honestly have no idea what kind of steel the head of this axe is made of. It’s called “drop forged alloy steel” on Amazon, which means precisely nothing as far as the actual composition of the steel goes. 

Whatever it is, it’s a little on the softer side, which makes it easy to sharpen, but also means you’ll have to sharpen it somewhat more often than a harder, high-carbon steel. It’s also not true stainless steel, although it does come with a rust-preventative clear coating. I suggest keeping it dry in-between uses as that coating starts to wear off.

Handle & Grip

As I’ve gotten into axe-throwing, one thing I’ve learned is that throwing an axe doesn’t just ding up the head and dull the edge, it can also wreck the handle. Wooden handles split. Plastic ones break. Heads become detached from handles. It’s mayhem. 

But the handle of the Efficere is rock-solid. That thing is on there. The handle itself is made of very durable fiberglass, which seems to be virtually unbreakable, and also absorbs shock remarkably well. 

Over top of the fiberglass handle you have a soft rubber grip that provides a little extra cushion while keeping the axe firmly locked in your palm. If anything, it might be ever-so-slightly more grippy than I’d prefer in a throwing axe, but as a working hatchet for splitting wood, it’s great. The anti-slip handle provides comfort and control. 

Final Thoughts on the Efficere 14” Outdoor Camping Axe

As I write this, the Efficere Outdoor Camping Axe and Survival Hatchet is holding steady at $12.99 on Amazon. It was, I must say, even cheaper when I bought mine a couple of months ago. But despite shifting upward a couple dollars, I still have to call this the absolute best bang for your buck in a budget-priced hatchet. 

Again, I know absolutely nothing about the company that makes these, and I haven’t the foggiest idea what kind of steel it’s made out of. And to be honest, I don’t much care.

This little axe from Efficere has won me over. It’s easy to sharpen, easy to swing, throws well, splits wood like a champion, and is built like a tank. It’s perfect for taking on camping trips or splitting up kindling for backyard bonfires, and if you’re getting into axe throwing and want an affordable hatchet to learn with, this is a perfect option for that. 

Will it replace the beautiful, high-end hatchets that I really love for bushcraft and splitting wood? Nope. Will I happily hand it over to my kids so they can do their best to wreck it? You betcha.